Shrunken Sweaters & Felted Fleece. Oh my!

Really?  I mean….REALLY?!  Such a week.  I thought I wrecked some valuable wooly stuff.  And perhaps I did, depending upon your perspective.

I’d taken several days to wash some raw fleece.  Apparently when I emptied the mesh bags previously full of curly white locks, I overlooked some in bottom of bag.  When next doing laundry, I found the LUMPS of felted curls in the washer.  Oh dear.  NOW what?  Set them aside.  Like Scarlett O’Hara, I’d think about it tomorrow…

Following week: Did I actually just shrink a couple wool sweaters?  ME??  But I know better than that.  So… HOW could I find two shrunken, warped sweaters in my laundry pile?  And it hits me:  distracted by company coming and hastily tidying, I’d gathered up sweaters tossed on the foot of the bed ~ intending to put away later.  Instead, my preoccupied brain scooped all clothes clutter and tossed it into washer.  I shoulda paid more attention.


Bummer.  With weather turning colder and chill wind a’blowing, that cowl neck would have been cozy.  Instead the lovely merino sweater was creased, shrunk and partially felted.  NOW WHAT?  FYI: at this point I stopped folding clothes and sulked awhile.  So theres a photo of 1 sweater boo-boo instead of two;  I hadn’t seen the 2nd sweater yet.  By the time I found the other, I’d already moved on to the Inspiration Phase.

Dye the shrunken woolens to make Pumpkins.  Hey it’s October, and pumpkins are all the rage this time of year.  It was an easy mental leap.  So into the dye pot with the OOPS sweater.  From there to the sewing machine.  A lobed pumpkin pattern appealed to me this time, but enough felted material remains for rounder shapes too.

Ribbed sweater, plain or patterned.  Cabled sweater, or textured.  So many fabulous options; if not in your closet, then perhaps in a trip to your local thrift shop?  If you don’t like the color right away, consider over-dyeing it.  The lighter orange pumpkin got dyed after sewing, because I changed my mind about a white pumpkin.  Already stitched?  Not a problem; empty the stuffing and dump into dye pot.  Do I care about slightly lighter ridges?  I do not.  I’m too busy loving the gorgeous color.

And better still, I also made use of the accidentally felted clots of curls.  Dyed them green and used them as pumpkin stems.  Awesome.  Imperfect shapes?  That’s fine.  Add a felted leaf and call it good. (The wee yellow pumpkin has a bit of green dyed sweater rolled into a stem).

If you sense a detrimental trend here regarding distracted minds and the consequences to my wool stash ~ OR my wardrobe~ you could be right.  But rest assured I’m paying MORE attention nowadays! Anyway, I could have tossed out the ‘ruined sweaters,’ or the ‘ruined’ curls, but luckily I was inspired to creatively transform them into something delightful.  These pumpkins are keepers.

Lemons into Lemonade.  Gotta love it.

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